Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Yas Marina, 2021

Mazepin to miss Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after positive Covid test

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Nikita Mazepin will not participate in today’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after testing positive for Covid on Sunday.

Haas confirmed that their driver had received a positive Covid result following a regular test that all F1 personnel are required to take over the course of a grand prix weekend.

In a statement, Haas said they “regret to announce that Nikita will be unable to participate in the race.”

As qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has concluded, Haas will not be permitted to replace Mazepin for the race with another driver under the regulations.

Haas described Mazepin as being “physically well, having been asymptomatic,” and confirmed that he would “now self-isolate and adhere to the guidelines of the relevant public health authorities, with safety the ultimate priority for all parties concerned.

The team said that they “wish Nikita well and we look forward to his return to the race track in early 2022 for pre-season testing.”

With Mazepin unable to participate in the final race of the season, the Russian rookie will end his debut season in 21st and last place in this year’s drivers’ championship standings.

Notable positive Covid-19 cases in F1

18/3/2020One team memberMcLarenRace subsequently cancelled
30/07/2020Sergio PerezRacing PointMissed British and 70th Anniversary grands prix
08/10/2020Six team membersMercedes
13/10/2020Two team membersRenault
21/10/2020Lawrence StrollRacing Point
21/10/2020Lance StrollRacing PointMissed Eifel Grand Prix
30/10/2020Four team membersRacing Point
11/11/2020Simon RobertsWilliams
16/11/2020Mario IsolaPirelli
26/11/2020Jonathan WheatleyRed Bull
1/12/2020Lewis HamiltonMercedesMissed Sakhir Grand Prix
5/1/2021Lando NorrisMcLaren
13/1/2021Charles LeclercFerrari
25/1/2021Toto WolffMercedes
31/1/2021Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri
11/3/2021Frederic VasseurAlfa Romeo
25/3/2021Two team membersAston Martin
15/7/2021Three team membersMcLarenIncluding McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown
4/9/2021Kimi RaikkonenAlfa RomeoMissed two races
7/10/2021Alan van der Merwe and Dr Ian RobertsMedical Car teamMissed Turkish Grand Prix
2/11/2021Jost CapitoWilliamsMissed Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
12/12/2021Nikita MazepinHaasMissed Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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40 comments on “Mazepin to miss Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after positive Covid test”

  1. Shame that they can’t replace him. May have had a chance of a better result.

  2. There goes my tip for the race win.

    1. Well, it was a fair gamble. If you had bet money on this, and had been correct, you would probably never had had to work for wages ever again. It was worth a try. Chin up.

    2. :-) Or at least for the race spin.

  3. Damn, this takes him out of the championship hunt… oh wait.

    1. It really does. I was genuinely worried, all the sarcasm aside, that he could be a deciding factor in this championship race sooner or later. He doesn’t move out of the way (which is his major job in F1, due to the car and driver performance equally being terrible), and he’s also a regular threat to take someone out; even under blue flags. Of course, any car could cause some incident and change the course of the race, giving one title contender a pit stop under (virtual or real) safety car, or a red flag for a totally free pit stop (what a rule lol…). All things aside and as much as I dislike this little brute of an oligarch, I wish him well and to get well soon, if he’s sick and not just positive for the virus. People like him sometimes really bring out the worst in us all.

      1. He’s not that bad.

        1. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
          12th December 2021, 10:55

          It’s worth noting that it was Mick Schumacher who caused the red flag last race in Jeddah.

          Mazepin was the victim of someone else.

          The way I see it, Mick didn’t wipe the floor vs his teammate. Either Mazepin isn’t that bad or Mick is a mid driver.

          1. Mick has definitely had an easier time at it, showing a lot more pace @imabouttogoham, but in amount of mistakes the two haven’t been clearly different.

            Part of it surely must be the car as last year we also saw it being a difficult to set up and drive design, and if anything the not-designed-in but added (well, substraction with a saw by the looks of the team) restrictions for this season might well have degraded that. Mazepin seems to more often be clumsy, but he certainly had less luck too. Certainly far from the flashes of brilliant racing he did manage to show at times in F2.

          2. someone or something
            13th December 2021, 0:20


            The way I see it, Mick didn’t wipe the floor vs his teammate.

            With all due respect, this has very little to do with the facts of this season.
            – Schumacher has outqualified Mazepin 20 times in 22 races. The remaning two? Schumacher didn’t take part in qualifying (though it has to be said that this was due to crashes in Free Practice).
            – The average gap in qualifying was 0.524 seconds in Schumacher’s favour – but only if you disregard the extremely large gaps of 2.5-4 seconds at Sochi (wet qualifying), Istanbul, and Losail (for no obvious reason). If you do include all qualifying results, Schumacher was 9 tenths ahead on average, by far the largest gap between any two regular team mates in 2021.
            In any case, the gap was larger than half a second in 13 out of 20 qualifying sessions that saw both cars running.
            – In the 14 races that saw both cars reach the chequered flag, Schumacher finished ahead 11 times, Mazepin 3.
            – In two of the three races Mazepin finished ahead, Schumacher finished less than 2 seconds adrift. Mazepin’s largest advantage came in Brazil, where Schumacher finished 33 seconds adrift after an early collision and pit stop for repairs cost him about 45 seconds.
            – For reference, here the gaps from the races Schumacher finished ahead:
            68 seconds (Imola), 63 (Portimão), 0.07 (Baku), 40 (Barcelona), 14 (Le Castellet), 42 and 51 (Spielberg), 2 (Spa), 24 (Istanbul), 87 (Austin), and 68 (Losail).
            In other words, apart from the two obvious anomalies (Baku, where Schumacher overtook Mazepin mere metres before the finish line, and Spa, where the entire (non-)race was run behind the Safety Car), the gap between the two Haas team mates was usually huge, and any exceptions from that rule were few and far in between.

            So, I don’t really see how much more Schumacher could’ve mopped the floor with Mazepin. Apart from crushing him in qualifying and the races, there wasn’t much he could do, given the car’s lack of competitiveness. As far as punching above the car’s weight goes, Schumacher managed a couple of Q2 appearances, but points were never on.

    2. Sounds like fate… or someone pulled some strings.

  4. Fit to participate in qualifying, feeling totally fine, yet barred from racing because of a positive test. Just imagine how many people would’ve tested positive for flu in the past during grand prix weekends, yet no one cared and rightly so! Will this madness ever stop?

    1. Compliments, your username suits you!

    2. Totally agree with you @armchairexpert, unfortunately, in our western “civilization” a different opinion against the government guidelines is not allowed anymore.(yet “we” critize a lack of “human rights” in the Middle Eastern countries ;-) )

      1. I love being able to present my COVID-19 vaccine certificate and having more rights than some other people. I would have thrived in Germany in 1939-1945.

      2. @melbourne-96 it is depressing that in 25 years time when everyone realises what is going on has been going on for thousands of years and it is just another pratically harmless virus, people are going to deny their opressive behaviour and claim a stance they never had.

    3. José Lopes da Silva
      12th December 2021, 9:12

      Given that people like you refuse masks and vaccines, it’s getting harder to stop.

      1. But you can´t stop it, if by “stop” you mean exterminate the disease, like you cant exterminate the flu.

        In time F1 will have to adapt to this reality, as it is simply unfair to exclude drivers from racing because they have caught a virus, despite having been vaccinated & protecting themselves as well as they can.

        Instead of simple positivity to the virus, F1 should really be focused on whether the driver is actually OK & ready to race and when not, and in what conditions they actually should not. Keep in mind that countless drivers raced while feeling unwell, few drivers like Webber continued to race with a fractured bone.

        Maybe the first step could be some kind of isolation-mode for the positive drivers. After all drivers race in cars that are separate from one another & wear helmets that could have some kind of filter in them. The only limitations would have to be applied before & after the racing sessions – i.e. drivers should not communicate directly with other team members and should interact with other people.

      2. Of course people should refuse a jab for something that the huge majority are practically immune to. Especially when it does nothing to stop the spread.

        Go back a couple of yeae before this insanity and can you imagine being told to take a needle for something you only have 0.03% of dying from? You would have laughed your head off.

        Yet here we are after thousands and thousands of hours of deceptive media and government scaremongering and propaganda!

        Mazepan is asymptomatic and absolutely fine so couldn’t pass anything to anyone else if he tried. This new flu has been hijacked to manipulate our rights and freedoms.

      3. Vaccinated infect other vaccinated people, so how exactly do vaccines stop the spread? We are almost in 2022, not 2020, don’t repeat such misinformation, please. Have you read about Christmas party in Spain? 170 people, all returned negative test before, yet 70 fully vaccinated medics caught covid there, showing 0 symptoms. Vaccine surely did its job stopping the spread!

        Take vaccine. Refuse vaccine. It’s your body, your choice and your consequences to face. But the sooner we return to normal life, rather than heading into fascist state, where every single step in your life is under control of the Big Brother, the better. And that applies to motorsport as well. BTW. You should send an angry e-mail to Stefano Domenicali, CEO of F1, who was chilling with Saudi Arabian murderers unmasked last week. How dare he?

        1. “Fascist state.”

          What a strange world we are living in: people in Africa beggin for vaccines, while some European citizen, who benefited from a welfare state all their life, feels oppressed by a ‘fascist state.’

          You’re just out of your mind.

          1. A strange world Indeed, @becken-lima.

        2. Jose Lopes da Silva
          12th December 2021, 11:55

          If you select your facts and decide to live in an alternative reality, debate is impossible.
          And that’s why I’m getting in favour of mandatory vaccination.

        3. If you don’t understand the science, dont bother commenting on COVID. Vaccines do reduce transmission, but more importantly reduce mortality and morbidity significantly. Behave, respect other people and please stop ranting with your nonfiction

    4. Wow so comments on a F1 website is now a battleground for anonymous covid deniers and anti-vaxxers? Great 🤦.

      1. Indeed. I come here to avoid all of that nonsense.

        Someone give me back my safe space dammit!

      2. These ‘just the fly’ type of comments always become really funny though when you play some clown music in your head alongside.

      3. Wow! Got here too late. All that must have been deleted. I don’t see a single Covid denier. Same with anti-vax, just a few anti mandate posts. Might have missed someone who didn’t get vaxed but that’s not anti-vax any more than me being anti because I don’t own one.

      4. I think I’ve become naturally immune to the stupidity these people have, whether it’s Trump supporters, flat earthers or anti-vaxxers. Over the years it’s just reaffirmed that humans are essentially mostly dumb creatures. There are many stories now of these anti-vaxxers becoming hospitalised or worse in order to retain their ‘rights’, and then want the same doctors and nurses that told them to get vaccinated to then help them, I have next to no sympathy. These people also benefit from all of us getting our vaccines and then quote statistics saying all is ok, not taking into account that had everyone taken their stance hospitals would be overwhelmed.
        As a final point, there is actually a flu vaccine that helps millions, again these people are obviously so dumb like @armchairexpert as to not have heard of it.

        Anyway have a great race today :)

      5. Jose Lopes da Silva
        12th December 2021, 11:53

        Not new. They are everywhere.

    5. @armchairexpert exactly, and herpes and perhaps thousands of other harmless viruses.

      1. @peartree having seen one of my students go to hospital with Covid recently that was unvaccinated, I can confirm first hand it is not harmless.

  5. As qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has concluded, Haas will not be permitted to replace Mazepin for the race with another driver under the regulations.

    Get a waiver and stick Oscar Piastri in the car!

  6. Surprising late infection.

  7. Bad news to Red Bull!
    Less chances for them to play with safety car.

  8. Interesting, Lewis had two very close interactions with him in recent times. Not penalty worthy of course.
    (f1 fanatic mode)
    Maybe Lewis in quarantaine?

    1. ahah… nice comment!
      I guess now Nikita can say that his erratically driving could may be some covid side effects.

  9. I’m surprised nobody’s questioned whether this is real. Haas had 2 really heavy crashes in the last race, with at least Mazepin’s chassis written off. I do wonder if they have enough confidence in the remaining chassis and the last of their components for it to be judged safe enough. The late timing conveniently stops them be able to slot in a replacement driver, but to be fair, his time in qualifying was quick enough to show that he was trying, and not just cruising gently round, so mine is not a conspiracy theory I believe in. Even though I might be starting it. Sorry about that.

    1. Birds are not real!

  10. Call me a conspiracy theorist but it feels like the positive test is bs, haas is using it as an excuse to only race 1 car as mazepins tub is damaged and there isn’t enough parts for both cars so the team saving face and to not wanting to pay a fine use this as a cover.

    one good thing to come out of this is that this road block will not get in the way of the title battle.

    Considering the deserved criticism mazepin receives only racing due to his billionaire dad and his disgusting off track behavior he still justifies his place in F1 more than zhou and finished ahead of him when he raced in F2.. how ironic considering where the virus originated the ccp has been on a war path to “nation brand” and sportswash its image globally with schemes like paying for zhous F1 seat..

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